GOTCHA DAY

Court Date

Saturday, November 29, 2008

SATURDAY IN MOSCOW


HELLO EVERYONE! WELL TODAY DAN AND I TOOK THE BUS AND ENDED UP PAST THE ZOO. SO WE WENT TO THE MARRIOTT GRAND HOTEL TO SEE IF DONNA JUSTIN AND ALAYNA WANTED TO GO TO THE ZOO WITH US. SO WE ALL WENT TO THE MOSCOW ZOO. IT WAS GREAT! WE HAD ALLOT OF FUN. ITS A BIG ZOO WITH MONKEY'S, GORILLA'S,ELEPHANT'S,POLAR BEAR, COYOTE'S, BEAR'S,DOLPHIN'S, SEA LION'S, TIGER'S ETC. IT IS A BIG ZOO SO WE DECIDED TO LEAVE AND MAYBE GO BACK WITH AVA. WE ENDED UP AT THE FRONT OF THE ZOO AND DECIDED TO WALK AND FOUND THE ZOO WAS REALLY CLOSE AND WE DIDNT EVEN KNOW IT. DUH!

OUR AGENCY HAS RECIEVED THE ADOPTION DECREE BUT THEY NEED TO GET HER BIRTH CERTIFICATE TUESDAY BEFORE WE CAN PICK HER UP. I DONT KNOW IF THAT MEAN I CAN POST PICTURES OR NOT?? ANYONE KNOW?

WE ARE GOING TO DINNER WITH PATTI AND DAVID ANOTHER COUPLE FROM A DIFFERENT AGENCY THAT IS ADOPTING A LITTLE BOY AND PICKS HIM UP THIS WEEK ALSO.
I NEED TO GO GET READY.

PAKA

Friday, November 28, 2008

FRIDAY IS MOSCOW


DAN AND I ARE HAVING A GREAT TIME. WE ARE ENJOYING OURSELVES WHILE THE WAITING PERIOD PASSES. WE TOOK THE BUS TODAY WITH PAUL OUR AMERICAN FRIEND. WE WENT BACK TO THE RED SQUARE AND SAW INSIDE ST BASIL'S. WE ALSO MADE A WISH ON THE CENTER OF MOSCOW IT'S A CIRCLE YOU STAND ON AND THROW COINS IN THE AIR AND MAKE A WISH.
WELL THE OLDER LADIES THAT DONT HAVE MONEY STAND AROUND AND WAIT FOR EVERYONE TO THROW MONEY SO THEY CAN CATCH IT OR PICK IT UP. IT'S SAD.
THEN WE WENT TO THE UNDERGROUND MALL AND LOOKED AROUND. WE HAD TO GO TO THE BATHROOM BUT YOU HAVE TO PAY TO USE RESTROOMS HERE, SO WE PAID 20 ROUBLES EACH TO GO TO THE TOLIET. ALL AROUND THE CITY THEY HAVE PORTA POTTY'S WHERE A LADY IS AN ATTENDENT AND YOU HAVE TO PAY TO USE IT. ITS CRAZY.
THEN WE CAME BACK TO THE APARTMENT AND ARE GOING TO MEET DONNA, JUSTIN AND ALAYNA ANOTHER CHI FAMILY. I THINK WE WILL ATTEMPT THE BUS THE OTHER WAY. WISH US LUCK.

OLGA HAS GOTTEN THE COURT DECREE BUT SHE HAS TO GET IT STAMPED ON MONDAY AND TUESDAY AFTER ANOTHER COURT SHE WILL TAKE IT TO VITAL STATISTICS TO GET BIRTH CERTIFICATE FOR AVA. THEN WE CAN PICK HER UP WED MORNING AND TAKE HER TO GET HER PASSPORT AND VISA PICTURES DONE.

WE MIGHT BE ABLE TO COME HOME EARLY.
CROSS YOUR FINGERS

Thursday, November 27, 2008

THANKSGIVING IN MOSCOW



THIS MORNING WE WOKE AND GOT READY FOR AN EXCURSION AND TO HAVE LUNCH/DINNER WITH CHI MOSCOW REP'S.

WE MET JUSTIN, DONNA AND LITTLE ELENA WHO IS ANOTHER FAMILY THAT ADOPTED FROM TVER.
WE WENT TO THE RED SQUARE, KREMLIN, GUM MALL- WINDOW SHOPPED CAUSE THAT'S ALL YOU CAN AFFORD TO DO, WE SAW CATHEDRAL'S, THE MOSOCW UNIVERSITY AND MANY MORE THINGS WE SAW BY CAR.
WE THEN MET CHILDREN'S HOPE REP'S FOR LUNCH AT UNCLE SAM'S (AMERICAN FOOD) AND HAD SOME GREAT FOOD. IT WASNT TURKEY BUT THE CHICKEN WAS REALLY GOOD.

THANK YOU TO CHILDREN'S HOPE- MOSCOW FOR MAKING OUR THANKSGIVING WONDERFUL.

HAPPY THANKSGIVING EVERYONE !

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

HAPPY BIRTHDAY ZACHARY


HELLO EVERYONE. TODAY IS ZACHARY'S 7th BIRTHDAY. HAPPY BIRTHDAY BUDDY.
WE MISS YOU GUYS.

WELL TODAY WE STILL HAS SOME SNOW ON THE GROUND. NOT AS COLD AS YESTERDAY. WE MET A GUY AT THE US EMBASSY AND HE SHOWED US AROUND A LITTLE TODAY. WE WENT PASSED THE RUSSIAN WHITE HOUSE, WE WENT TO THE EUROPEAN MALL AND TO A FLEA MARKET/MEAT MARKET. NOW THE MEAT MARKET IS JUST WHAT IT SOUNDS LIKE BUT WITH A TWIST IT HAD MEATS HANGING COWS, CHICKENS, LITTLE PIGS DEAD ON TABLES. IT WAS NOTHING THAT I HAVE EVER SEEN. AFTER THAT WE WENT TO THE EUROPEAN MALL WHICH WAS COOL. THE ESCULATORS ARE ALL SEE THROUGH WITH A BLUE LIGHT INSIDE AND SHOWS YOU THE MECHANICS OF IT. THERE IS A SUSHI RESTURANT IN THE MIDDLE THAT HAS A TRANSPARENT FLOATING FLOOR AND ITS SUSPENDED WITH CHAINS. THE ELEVATORS ARE ALL GLASS. VERY COOL....

NOW WE ARE HOME AT THE APARTMENT JUST HANGING OUT. DANS ANKLE HURTS AND IS SWOLLEN A LITTLE BUT WE DONT KNOW WHY, HE IS RESTING IT NOW. I DONT THINK WE WILL BE SEEING AVA UNTIL WE GET THE COURT DECREE WHICH STINKS.
THE COOL THING IS SINCE WE ARE IN RUSSIA FOR THANKSGIVING "CHI" OUR AGENCY IS TAKING US OUT TOMORROW FOR THANKSGIVING WHICH IS VERY NICE AND WAS UNEXPECTED.
I WILL UPDATE MORE TOMORROW.

HAPPY THANKSGIVING FROM RUSSIA

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Tuesday Afternoon in Moscow


Well today we woke around 9 am, and decided to walk 20 mins to the Red Square. On the way back Dan and I were underground and there was a little stand which the women was selling these wonderful smelling breads stuffed. So we go a pizza one, it was actually really good. Also we decided to stop at a coffee shop which there are many with this name K....??? and I got a Capuccino and Dan got Hot Chocolate. I DONT RECOMMEND HOT CHOCOLATE HERE. It was PURE Chocolate heated, Rich and not so good.

We are back at the Apt it will be cold here all week. We are going to try to go to the Russian White House and European Trade Center (Shopping) tomorrow. I dont know if we will see Ava again this week. We have to wait on Adoption Decree before we can have her. We are hoping to get it Tuesday Morning but if it isnt early enough Tues then we cant get her until Wed.

We will post more soon.

April & Dan -- FREEZING IN MOSCOW

Monday, November 24, 2008

It's Monday Morning in Moscow.

It's monday and Dan and I already went to the US Embassy this morning for some documents for Ava's Visa, Passport information. I went and got the documents that need to be filled out. We hope the have the court Decree by next Tues so we can get Ava and go do all the things that need to be done.

We are waiting for Alex and Olga to come get us to go to the Orphanage and see Ava. She naps until 11 am so we will be leaving soon. I hope she does good today. I hope to make more progress with her. I will post more later after our visit to the Orphanage.

With Love From Russia

Dan April Ava

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Saturday in Moscow Russia


Today is a bit colder than yesterday. Dan & I went to McDonald's for Breakfast 10 min walk to Old Arbat Street. Then we got picked up and went to see Ava. She was fine until Daddy picked her up. She has never seen a man before now and it a little scared also I noticed anyone she doesnt recognize she cries. Dan is jealious that she is calmer in my arms. Ava and I bonded today, she likes to be held. I told Dan that in time she will come around. I hope she will be okay on the airplane cause it will be a long...... long.... Flight. But we will have her 9 days so we will try to get her out more so she is not so nervous.

The weather is suppose to get colder this week MORE SNOW. Monday we are going to the US Embassy to get some new forms so we know what to do the week after and to get it all done before. We will see Ava again on Monday and that will be the last time until Gotcha Day either Dec 1st or 2nd. We will have her until the 11th unless we can leave early, but it doesnt look like that will happen. Well that is all for now.

Best Wishes from Russia.

Friday, November 21, 2008

A short post


Well it is 9 pm here in Moscow. It was a nice day no snow today just cold. I hear we are suppose to have snow this weekend. Dan and I went to Moscow's HARD ROCK CAFE and celebrated our new daughter. I am finding that there are people that speak English around the Arbat area more so because it is tourist area.

Attached is a picture of Dan & I tonight at a place called "Floridita" A cuban resturant and Bar. They even play cuban music. Very cool.

We get to see Ava tomorrow morning at 10 am so we will post more tomorrow.
We can not post pictures of her until after 10 day wait.

IT'S OFFICAL......AVA IS OUR DAUGHTER


We are so excited, Ava is offically ours @ 10:50 am Moscow Time. She has two wonderful Brother's, I cannot wait to indroduce them.
We have to wait 10 days until we can have her which will be DEC 1 OR 2ND.
I will post more soon. Dan and I have been up since 2 am Moscow Time- ITS NAP TIME.

PS WE FOUND MCDONALDS AND GROCERY STORE YEA!!!!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

COURT TODAY .


Well it's 4 am. Dan and I have been up since 2 am. Can't sleep. Excited, Nervous, all the above. Dan & I are hungry so I think we are going to find something to eat.

So we are staying on Novy Arbat(Picture is of our view) but I cant seem to get my bearings staight. North South East West is a blur. Not sure where we are. I know we went to Starbucks and Sbarro's for dinner last night on OLD ARBAT ?? IF any one knows where a Grocery store is and McDonalds please email me. marrazzoapril@comcast.net

I know we will find it if we keep walking. The snow has stopped for now but I am sure it will snow later.

With Love April & Dan

PS I can email out through Comcast account. So email me.

We made it ........... Burrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr

Well, we made it. IT IS SNOWING LIKE CRAZY... BURRRR
My first time seeing snow fall, it is pretty but cold.

We got to our apt ( Great View off Arbat Street)and dropped everything off and went straight to the Orphanage to see AVA. MY HAS SHE GROWN IN 2 MONTHS. She is tall. She is sick with a cold so I held her most of the time trying to comfort her. She cried and whimpered alot. I think she just doesnt feel well.

Tomorrow is Court. 10 am Russia time. I will post tomorrow evening when I can. Wish us Luck.

I am having trouble sending emails but I can recieve so sorry if I dont get back to you right away.

Paka !

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

IT'S TIME TO GO GET OUR DAUGHTER


CAN YOU BELIEVE THE TIME HAS ACTUALLY COME TO GO TO COURT AND GET AVA. IT'S BEEN SUCH A LONG TIME THAT IT HAS NOT HIT ME YET UNTIL WE ARE THERE AND SHE IS IN OUR ARMS.

WE DIDNT RECIEVE OUR VISA'S/PASSPORTS UNTIL THIS MORNING AT 930AM BY FEDEX, SO AFTER WE DROVE TO OCALA FL (N. FLORIDA 3.5 HOURS EACH WAY) TO DROP OFF THE BOYS WITH UNCLE BRENT SO THEY CAN GO STAY WITH GRANDMA AND POP POP IN NJ. IT TOOK US A LITTLE LONGER THAN EXPECTED DUE TO THE WHOLE TURNPIKE WAS CLOSED DUE TO ACCIDENT SO WE GOT HOME AT 6PM.

DAN AND I WENT THROUGH LUGGAGE TO MAKE SURE WE HAVE EVERYTHING. 4 SUITE CASES LATER. CHECKED BAGGAGE CONSISTS OF PACK AND PLAY ( FOR AVA TO SLEEP IN), 3 SUITCASES & STROLLER.

I WILL BE SURE TO UPDATE AS SOON AS I CAN. THANK YOU EVERYONE FOR THE WONDERFUL COMMENTS.

APRIL & DAN

Sunday, November 16, 2008

3 DAYS LEFT......................


WOW! Pinch me, I cant believe time has almost come to go to Court. We leave Wedensday Nov 19th and Arrive Nov 20th in Moscow at 1120am Moscow Time. Our Court in on Friday Nov 21st but I am not sure what time.
We are staying in an Apartment on Noviy Arbat Street which everyone says is the best place to stay because there are a lot of shops and resturants. I hear that there is a Starbucks and Hard Rock near our apt. We are staying pretty close to the US Emabssay too.

Thank You to everyone the support has been Awesome.

I dont know if I will update before we leave but I will try if not look for my post while in Russia.

WITH LOVE FROM RUSSIA & FLORIDA

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Packing For Our Court Trip

Sorry it's been a while since I last updated. Nothing new to report. Just trying to get all of our documents together for court and US Embassy.
I have been trying to pack for Dan & I plus guessing on what to bring for AVA. Its hard to pack for her because I really dont know her size so I am bring 12-18month clothing.
I also have to pack for Allen & Zachary because they will be going to NJ to stay with Grandma & Grandpa. We leave in 5 days to drive Allen & Zachary to North Florida (3-4 hour drive 1 way) to Uncle Brent's and then drive back to leave the next morning.

I will update before we leave and I will also be taking my computer with us.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Allen & Zachary's Birthday Party


Yesterday which was Sunday we had Allen's (Nov 11th)& Zachary's (Nov 26th) Birthday party which was so much fun. We got a 20 foot waterslide called Jaws. The weather held up and it was about 78 degress which was not too bad but windy. I went down it a couple of times Burrrrrr. Kids have a lot of tolerence when it comes to the weather. All in all we had a Great turn out and had fun.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY ALLEN - TOMORROW NOV 11TH

On the other hand Dan has been sick what ever is going around Cough, Fever, etc. He got antibiotics today and hope he will be better by the time we go to Russia (Nov19).

Friday, November 7, 2008

We leave Nov 19 - December 11th

Just a qucik update.

We have booked our Flights x2-the return date had to be change from Dec6 to the 11th.
We booked our apt through Peace Travel
We Sent for our Visa's- Go to Russia Travel
Made last payments to CHI

Nervous Brake down -Check that one too a couple times......

Allen & Zachary will be going to NJ with Uncle Brent and then staying with Grandma & Pop Pop up in NJ for a week. Then they will come back to Florida with Uncle Brent and return to school. Uncle Brent has been a Angel during all of this. He takes care of the kids like they are his own. THANK YOU UNCLE BRENT- LOVE YOU MAN !

My Sisters Angel & Kris my Niece Amanda and Nephew Matthew from California will be coming to visit the week after we get back. Yyyeppppppyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy

I am exhausted, I will post more later.

PS If anyone is in Moscow the same time let me know we will be staying near Novy Arbat street.


GOOD NIGHT

Thursday, November 6, 2008

WE GOT OUR COURT DATE !

YES IT'S TRUE. WE RECEIVED OUR COURT DATE TODAY. NOV 21ST IS OUR OFFICAL DATE. WE WILL BE LEAVING NOVEMBER 19 TH, WE DONT KNOW WHEN WE ARE RETURNING YET HOPEFULLY AFTER THE 10 WAIT IT WILL BE FIRST WEEK OF DECEMBER.

THANK YOU EVERYONE FOR THOUGHTS AND PRAYERS

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

ALLEN (9TH) & ZACHARY'S (7TH) BIRTHDAY


IT'S THAT TIME OF YEAR AGAIN. MY BOYS ARE GETTING SO BIG, AND TOO FAST! ALLEN'S BIRTHDAY IS NOVEMBER 11TH & ZACHARY'S IS NOVEMBER 26TH. SINCE WE DONT KNOW WHEN WE ARE GOING TO RUSSIA FOR COURT WE WILL BE CELEBRATING ALLEN & ZACHARY'S BIRTHDAY THIS WEEKEND. THE FALL IS FULL OF BIRTHDAYS. AVA ALLEN & ZACHARY. ALL 2 WEEKS APART. FUNNY HOW THINGS HAPPEN. IT WAS MEANT TO BE AVA IS MEANT TO BE WITH US AND WE HOPE SOON.

NO WORD YET BUT I WILL POST AS SOON AS WE KNOW ANYTHING.


HAPPY BIRTHDAY AVA, ALLEN & ZACHARY - MOMMY AND DADDY LOVE YOU LOTS !

Monday, November 3, 2008

RUSSIAN HOLIDAY NOVEMBER 4TH-Day of the National Unity

Well, so now we are just waiting on Holiday in Russia to pass. Russia we have Monday Tuesday and Wedensday off for holiday so hoping to hear something by Friday.

Russian Holidays
The Official Holidays (Observed)
January 1-5 New Year Holidays
January 7 Christmas, Russian Orthodox
February 23 Protector of Motherland Day
March 8 International Women’s Day
May 1 Spring and Labor Day
May 9 Victory Day (Over German Nazism in the WW2)
June 12 Day of Russia
November 4 Day of the National Unity

Sunday, November 2, 2008

We Celebrated Ava's 1st Birthday


HAPPY 1ST BIRTHDAY AVA.....
Dan & I thought it would be a good idea to have a cake and celebrate with the boys their sisters 1st Birthday. Even though she is not with us physically she is in our hearts. The boys told everyone that we celebrated Ava's birthday. They cant wait to meet her.
It's so diappointing not being able to hold her on her first birthday and comfort her to let her know we are here. We love her so much already and she doesnt even know it yet. Her smile just brightens every saddness we feel. We have a picture of her in every room in the house and on our cell phones. Dan's mom put Ava's picture on the refrigerator at home in NJ and kisses it everyday.
Thank you to everyone who has been here, all our friends and family have been wonderful..... THANK YOU

Tomorrow is November 3rd it has been exactly 8 weeks since we receieved our first call to go to Russia. We hope that we get the call this week, I know that Moscow City did recieve the databank documents they were waiting for. I just hope they apply for court this week. KEEP YOUR FINGERS CROSSED & WE NEED ALL THE PRAYERS WE CAN GET.

WITH LOVE FROM FLORIDA & RUSSIA

Foreign adoptions down in Russia as foster care grows

Foreign adoptions down in Russia as foster care grows

Fewer Russian children are being adopted abroad, although the number of total adoptions in Russia is declining, figures show. The statistics point to a complex future for the country's orphans as the government struggles to implement additional means of foster care even as it tries to encourage more Russians to adopt.
According to the U.S. State Department, which released figures for the 2008 fiscal year, the number of foreign children adopted by Americans fell by 12 percent.
In 2008, there were 17,438 adoptions for abroad, while there were 19,613 in 2007. Much of this decline is due to fewer adoptees from Russia and China. Although Russia has not yet released statistics for 2008, the numbers from previous years confirm the trend.
There were 6,689 foreign adoptions in 2006, and only 4,536 in 2007 - a decline of over 30 percent - according to statistics provided by the Ministry of Education and Science, which is responsible for developing adoption programs and legislation in the country.
The United States is the chief destination for Russia's foreign adoptees - in 2006, American parents adopted 3,468 children, making up well over half of the total number of foreign adoptions.
But these numbers do not indicate that Russians are adopting more children. Of the adoptees, the share of those who remain in Russia has increased - from 7,767 in 2006 to 9,537 in 2007. But overall adoptions decreased in 2007 by about 3 percent. Indeed, the number of adopted children peaked in 2004 at 16,434, and has been declining ever since.
This is explainable by foster care programs. While adoptions declined, there has been a rise in the number of children in new, alternative foster care initiatives. Whi­le not adoptions formally, these included various kinds of foster care in which a child lives with a guardian or a family that is paid by the government. There are at least three kinds of foster categories apart from adoption. Although the government officially considers adoptions the best option for orphans, it has opted to develop these programs to bring down the number of children without parents.
Since 2006, more stringent laws regulating foreign adoptions have gone into effect. According to Yekaterina Bridge of the World Association for Children and Parents, that has meant more paperwork.
"In 2007, adoption agencies were getting accreditation based on new rules, and that has led to fewer adoptions," she told The Moscow News.
"The first accreditations were received only in June, 2007, and this caused a delay."
Explaining the decline in the number of adoptions, Bridge cited alternative forms of foster care, but noted that these forms had their drawbacks.
"Local officials in the provinces are wary of developing foster care because of the money issue. They fear children could be taken advantage of for the government subsidies."
While she said her agency was supportive of the government efforts to develop newer forms of foster care, she cited the latest figures for children without parents as "staggering."
As of December 31, 2007, 171,044 children were listed in the official adoption data base.
Officials acknowledge the need to encourage more Russians to adopt.
"Adoption is the top priority in placing children with families," says Alexandra Ochi­rova, who chairs the Public Cham­ber's Commission on Social and De­mographic Policy.
"But the statistics do not show that the problem is being solved. Since not enough children are being adopted, other forms of foster care are being offered."
Ochirova does not believe that foreign adoptions will solve the problem, however.
"There are various points of view, and the interests of the child should be put first," she told The Moscow News. "But I believe that this problem should be solved inside the country. This doesn't mean we should have a ban on international adoptions, but considering the demographic situation, it would be good to make the population better prepared to adopt Russian children."
Ochirova says that raising awareness, advertising, and easing bureaucracy would lead to more adoptions. There are many Russians willing to adopt, she says, but they are daunted by the bureaucratic process.

LOVE

Love... bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. - 1 Corinthians 13:7
"Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always preserves."-- 1 Corinthians 13:4-7